Virtually every day people call our mobile vet service because their dog or cat is vomiting (being sick).
Here’s some useful information for pet owners to know about vomiting in our pets.
Eating the wrong thing
By far the most common reason our pets throw up is because they have eaten something that doesn’t agree with them.
Many dogs are terrible scavengers and will eat items from the ground like old discarded food when they are out exercising. What your dog sees as a tasty treat however is often loaded with bacteria and moulds and can cause sickness and diarrhoea.
A change of diet can have the same effect especially if the new diet is higher in fat than your pet is used to.
If your pet is still his normal self despite his upset stomach and was well before the symptoms came on, then in most cases it’s not serious.
Don’t feed your pet until the vomiting stops. Just offer small sips of water. Once the sickness stops offer a small amount of very bland food like chicken breast and white rice. Diarrhoea can take a couple of days to go away.
If everything settles down over the next few days then you can gradually re-introduce your pet’s normal diet.
If sickness and diarrhoea persist or your pet starts to become quiet and subdued, then you need to call the vet and arrange a consultation.
Here are some signs that the vomiting is more serious and needs urgent attention
- Your pet becomes lethargic, very subdued or is reluctant to get up, or you think may be in pain
- There is blood in the vomit
- The vomiting hasn’t settled after 12-24 hours
It also makes sense to call us if your pet is especially vulnerable. For example vomiting and diarrhoea in young puppies and kittens is potentially very serious because they can dehydrate very quickly.
If your pet starts to show a pattern of regularly vomiting food or yellow bile (especially if this is something they have not done before) then you need to call the vet to arrange a consultation. Intermittent vomiting can be the first sign of a more serious underlying medical problem. The earlier we see a problem, the more likely it is we can fix it.
How do we treat a vomiting pet?
Depending on the severity of your pet’s condition, we may need to hospitalise them and give intravenous fluids to re-hydrate their system.
We often also need to look for the underlying cause of the problem. This will include a full health check and physical examination. In many cases we need to do some blood tests and an x-ray of your pet’s abdomen.
If necessary, our mobile vets can transport your pet to our partner practice where we have full in-hospital veterinary facilities.
Treatment might involve medical care for infections or other underlying problems. Sometimes surgery may be required where a dog has swallowed an object that is blocking the bowel like a bone, corn cob or sock.
If your pet is vomiting and you’re worried or concerned – or if you have any concerns about your pet’s health – we’re only a phone call away